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When ER doc consults iPad, don't panic

Unbound Medicine releases the fourth edition of Rosen and Barkin's 5-Minute Emergency Medicine Consult for mobile devices, including iOS, Android, and BlackBerry.

Elizabeth Armstrong Moore
Elizabeth Armstrong Moore is based in Portland, Oregon, and has written for Wired, The Christian Science Monitor, and public radio. Her semi-obscure hobbies include climbing, billiards, board games that take up a lot of space, and piano.
Elizabeth Armstrong Moore
2 min read
Screenshot by Elizabeth Armstrong Moore/CNET

Nobody likes a conversation interrupted by the mobile-device grab, that increasingly familiar maneuver by which someone betrays a total lack of interest in said conversation and searches for whatever else might be going on in the world instead.

But when your physician gets device-happy in the middle of your next doctor's visit, even in the ER, chances are it's for a good cause, such as looking up the latest on your condition in a reference guide.

Rosen and Barkin's best-selling 5-Minute Emergency Medicine Consult has, for years, been a six-pound, 1,300-page clinical reference tome designed to support urgent care providers. Now, Unbound Medicine is releasing the new-and-improved fourth edition for mobile devices (including iOS, Android, BlackBerry, etc.) in a "proven, rapid-access format."

At $99.95, the price tag is heftier than it is for the paper product (at the time of this posting the hardcover is $81.64 on Amazon), but it features not only the guide's 600-plus urgent care topics and updated protocols and treatment guideline, but also personalized "favorites" (perhaps not the best word) for symptoms and conditions a user might encounter more frequently.

For those with a little extra cash ($159.95), Unbound Medicine is also offering up the Emergency Central package, which includes not just the 5-Minute Emergency Medicine Consult but also the Diagnosaurus DDx (1,000-plus quick-reference diagnoses), Davis's Drug Guide (almost 2,000 monographs covering 5,000 trade and generic drugs), and the Pocket Guide to Diagnostic Tests (including more than 350 laboratory, imaging, and microbiology test monographs). The package also includes a year of online access to MEDLINE Journals.

There are already several emergency room reference guides and glossaries for mobile devices (Emergency Room Glossary, iTriage, Medical Reference, etc.), but Rosen and Barkin's gold-standard 5-Minute Emergency Medicine Consult raises the bar.